Concert to raise funds for pipes in need of repairs |

Concert to raise funds for pipes in need of repairs

“Become an organ donor!” is the slogan for the fundraising campaign at Trinity Episcopal Church in Nevada City. The organ is a 48-year-old Bach tracker pipe organ that requires some work.

One of only three pipe organs in Nevada County, it will be played in a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday by the church’s regular organist, Tina Spriggs, 52, of Grass Valley. She has played the instrument since she was 12, when she was paid $6 a service. Now, 40 years later, she is still playing – two services almost every Sunday and many more times during Christmas and Easter.

While not different from other pipe organs, says Spriggs, “It’s very different from electric organs,” which are electro-pneumatic in action. “This one has mechanical action and is an organ Bach would have played.” You can tell a pipe organ from the percussive sound you hear when the key is depressed and the pipe opens.

Fairly small with 854 pipes, Spriggs says the more stops she uses the harder she has to press the keys – a regular workout.

Her favorite music is by the French composer Marcel Dupre, who composed “Carillon de Westminster” – the Big Ben theme.

Her second favorite, which she’ll play at the end of her Sunday concert is Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” the one often used in horror films.

She will open the concert with “Battle of Trenton,” a sonata composed and dedicated to George Washington by his contemporary, James Hewitt. This piece uses all the organ’s ranks and accessories and show off the organ to its best advantage.

Having been told by one expert that the organ needs to be totally taken apart, cleaned and restored, an expensive proposition, Spriggs says they are seeking other opinions.

A free-will offering toward the organ restoration will be taken at the concert after which a reception takes place.

Trinity Episcopal, at the corner of Nevada and High streets, was founded in 1855 and the current building dates back to 1873.

More information about the organ, the concert, and contributions toward restoration can be obtained from David Mooney or Diane Nichols at 477-8558. Go online at for more about the church.

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